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APS Acting Courses

Briony Dunn ~ Head of Course

Briony is Head of Course for the full time and part time pre-professional programs at APS. During her twenty-year career Briony has worked as director, tutor, script assessor or filmmaker with NIDA, NIDA Open, ATYP, Griffin Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir, Belvoir Downstairs, Big hArt, Ashfield Youth Theatre, PACT Youth Theatre, Carriageworks, Playworks and Playwriting Australia amongst others. A graduate of the NIDA Directing course, Briony has a Master of Arts in Theatre from UNSW. As an acting teacher she teaches her own rigorously developed technique in unison with the approaches of Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Stella Adler and Rudolf Laban. Past students of Briony's have been accepted into the three year acting courses at NIDA, Victorian College of the Arts and Federation University Australia. Her actors learn techniques applicable to all styles of performance, and useful at all levels of the industry. Having taught all over Australia from every capital city to the desert, Briony is currently processing audition applications for the 2017 full time and part time intake at APS.

Bronwen Coleman ~ Acting

A core tutor of the APS full time program, Bronwen is a long time practitioner of Strasberg’s Method and life member of the Actors Studio. She has devoted her career to deepening her understanding and practice of sensory work and studied for many years with renowned teachers Elizabeth Kemp, Sam Schacht and Seth May. Based in New York for over a decade, Bronwen’s many theatrical credits include Pretty Chin Up (Public Theater/Phil Hoffman), Patricia Cornelius’ Love (The Production Company), Beebo Brinker Chronicles (37 Arts), Capote (dir. Bennett Miller) Vartan LLP (Dir. Myles Price) and Law and Order. Her solo play Mrs. Barry’s Marriage, commissioned by the soloNOVA Arts Festival and developed at the Actors Studio, debuted at the 45th Street Theatre. She is a graduate of Actors Studio MFA Program (Liberace Fellowship Recipient 2000/2001), and the VCA School of Film and Television. Her completed screenplays include American Domme, Wild Abandon and Almost Grown Up (Scriptapalooza Quarterfinalist).

Jason Marrow ~ Vocal coach, Music Theatre

Vocal technique coach and music theatre specialist tutor for the full time program at APS, Jason is a graduate of both the Victorian College of the Arts Bachelor of Music Theatre and Music Theatre foundation course. Jason found his passion for singing and music theatre whilst at Carey Baptist Grammar School in Kew. Whilst at the VCA, he honed his skills as a triple threat performer as well as focussing on the physiology and fundamentals for a healthy singing voice. Prior to VCA, Jason trained at other institutions including Danceworld, and Stage School Australia. Jason has worked with some of the best vocal coaches in Melbourne, including Martin Croft, Tim Smith, Gary May (Vocal Coach to some of the biggest names in Music Theatre) and Adam Wood at Armstrong’s School of Singing, where he has now become a valuable member of the faculty. Jason has performed with many theatre companies around Melbourne. His stage credits include many of the great musicals such as ‘Fame’, ‘Footloose’, ‘Me & My Girl’, ‘42nd St’, ‘A Little Night Music’ (alternated playing Henrik and Frid), ‘Dreamsong’ (Paul), ‘City of Angels’ (de Costa and Mahoney) and ‘West Side Story’ (Pepe and the Jets).

Luke Robson ~ Acting

Core APS tutor Luke Robson's career as writer, director, producer, actor and acting coach has spanned sixteen years. Throughout these years Luke has seen many actors launch themselves into exciting careers. It excites him to see so many of his students booking professional acting work. For the past 16 years Luke has formed a strong relationship with the famous Stella Adler Studio, LA where he has helped over 100 actors to also study at the prestigious school. Luke’s credits include guest roles in films and television shows such as Blue Heelers, Stingers, Kath & Kim and Stiff as well as many TVC's and theatre productions. Luke has directed and produced over fifty plays, short films and music clips. His real passion is in the classroom working with acting students and watching them develop into talented artists.

 

Naomi Derrick ~ Kids, Music Theatre

Not only is Naomi one of the owners of the APS acting school and the SmallFry agency, she is also one of the Micro Stars and Musical Theatre classes' favourite teachers. With decades of experience in the film, TV and theatre industry, she has exactly what it takes to nurture the young up and coming stars and bring out the best in them.

Brodie Derrick ~ Acting

A professionally trained singer and dancer with the Australian Ballet School, Brodie began his acting career as a child treading the boards in numerous productions and operas including The Wizard of Oz (Princess Theatre), Der Rosenkavalier (Opera Australia), Brundibar (Opera Australia) and The Dolls House (MTC). As an adult, Brodie's feature film and television credits include Holding the Man, Seven Types of Ambiguity, Jonah from Tonga, Lost and Found, Glitch, Neighbours, Blue Heelers, Full Frontal, Pigs Breakfast and the upcoming Feature Film Spin Out.

 

Robert Shook

Robert is a professional actor, stuntman and specialty entertainer with 25 years of experience in stage, screen and television. He is a graduate of Drake University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts emphasis in Acting.

Robert worked for 15 years in Los Angeles. His film and television credits there include: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Days of our Lives, Profiler, Weird Science, To the Ends of Time. In live performance Robert was the fight director and understudy for the Droogs for the Company of Angels production of 'A Clockwork Orange.' In LA Robert has been involved in over 20 different live stunt shows and has performed over 12,000 high falls.

Robert is a member of the Screen Actor Guild, American Federation of Radio and Television Artists and has a Stunt Actor grading through Actors Equity. His Australia credits include: I Frankenstein, The Pacific, Knowing, Underbelly, Jeffrey Wright's Macbeth, Winners and Losers, City Homicide, Rush, Tripping Over, Ned Kelly, Bastard Boys, Salem's Lot, The Extra, McLeod's Daughters, Neighbours, Ponderosa, Stingers, Surprise and various TVC's.

Robert's love is live theatre and he has provided fight direction and/or action training for the Melbourne Theatre Company, VCA, Australian Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Red Stitch Theatre and Cheltenham Light Opera Co.

Robert currently teaches ongoing classes and workshops in Action, Acro and Acting for adults and kids. Robert also provides private training geared to the professional or student by teaching and cultivating a wide range of skills.

Peter Richards

With over 15 years experience as an acting coach, Peter has a lot of knowledge to bring into the classroom. As well as playing many roles on stage, short films, independent films and corporate work. Peter has also had roles in TV & Film shows such as Neighbours, Newton's Law, The Legend of Ben Hall , Bed of Roses, Blue Heelers, Triple 000 Heroes and award winning web series Prison Pals. He has also had lead roles on television commercials such as Work safe, Keno, Bonds, East Mac and HBA. Peter is the Head teacher in our Geelong location.

 

Jacinta O'Leary ~ Music Theatre

Jacinta is a qualified Primary School Teacher specialising in the performing arts. Jacinta's classes at APS are a big hit with the kids and they are always filled with young stars learning the skills to start a career in Musical Theatre. Students in her class put on two musicals a year where they are staged in beautiful theatres in the Melbourne area.

Susie Kazda ~ Kids & teens

Susie is a bubbly and vibrant young actress that the students adore. She got her first acting role at the age of 16 on the popular TV series, Blue Heelers and has been acting ever since. She has a vast amount of experience coming from her recent success in a range of current television commercials allowing her to be a great example for the young ones to learn from.

Susie is also a children's party performer and has been working as a children’s entertainer for 4 years and has recently started her own Face-painting and Party Entertainment business.

Susie structures each class into a fun and active lesson, with lots of games and improvisation aimed at engaging the imagination and building confidence. The end of term performance provides the opportunity for children to practice lines and to understand the process of partaking in a play.

 

 

Alicia Bonaddio ~ Kids & teens

Alicia is a talented actress that has a lot of experience and advice to bring to her classes. Having worked on numerous short films and theatre productions, Alicia's film and television credits include a lead guest role on Neighbours as well as guest roles on Molly, Rush and Bed of Roses and Any Questions for Ben. As well as being a Drama Teacher at various schools around Melbourne, she has now returned to Active Performance Studio to start teaching again.

Pam Speedy ~ Kids

Pam is an exciting and vibrant teacher that brings years of experience to her micro classes. Pam has owned and run a successful dance school for over 20 years and has directed many plays & concerts with children at different Primary Schools around Melbourne. She now brings that experience to APS to help the micro actors gain confidence performing whilst having lots of fun.

Claire Pearson ~ Acting

A core tutor of the APS full time program, Claire is a Melbourne based actor with over 10 years experience across theatre, film, voice, children's entertainment, writing and production. She trained at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) in 2008. In 2011, Claire received grants from the Ian Potter Foundation: Cultural Trust and Arts Queensland to study Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA, London).

Claire has worked with Queensland Theatre Company, Laboite Theatre Company, Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, Queensland Ballet, High Tide Theatre Company & Only Connect (London), Playwriting Australia, Dead Puppet Society, The Good Room, Underground Cinema (Melbourne), Boutique Theatre, HoyPolloy/ Act-o-matic 3000 and has performed at the Brisbane Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Claire wrote and produced the sell out seasons of  "Battlefield Blues" for the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival and  'Mona Brow Williams presents...' a one woman show, for the Anywhere Theatre Festival at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane, 2013. Claire's feature film work includes JUCY, All my friends are leaving Brisbane and Reef n Beef. In 2008, she won the Warner Roadshow Studio's Queensland New Filmmaker Award for Best Female Actress in the short film, 'Years'.

Jessica Window ~ Acting

Jessica has spent most of her life in the field of Performance. In her early years predominately in musical theatre, and as a dancer in Perth WA. She then spent almost 3 years traveling the world and performing in numerous shows along the way; and picking up a few languages too. As a young adult she moved to Melbourne and went back to study completing a Diploma in Theatre Arts, which later earned her a full scholarship to study at Nottingham University (UK) doing her Honours in Performing Arts. When returning home to Melbourne she finished up with her studies with yet another degree; Bachelor of Creative Arts: Majoring in Acting, Shakespeare, Screenwriting and Musical Theatre. She loves teaching and sharing in the years of her experience. Particularly for students wishing to further their education after high-school, or doing private one-on-one audition preparation courses.

 

 

 

 

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